By Iqra Razzaq
This past May, Darden students visited Normandy, France to take part in a Darden Worldwide Global Topic course. In these global topic courses, students take a deep dive into a particular topic, using the setting to enhance their understanding of a particular business concept. Gordon Rudd, Professor of Strategic Studies of the U.S. Marine School of Advanced Warfighting, and Professor Jared Harris led the Normandy course, which allowed students to apply the broad leadership lessons from the Normandy invasion to their own understandings of leading a complex organization, collaboration across units, and cross-cultural leadership. Students spent a week visiting different battle sites, analyzing the invasion, and applying their skills in evaluating effective leadership.
The students participating in this program practiced cross-cultural leadership by examining the relationship between Allied planning and German response. They witnessed how complex teams collaborated to ensure missions were executed regardless of changes in the environment. They engaged in discussions at historically significant Normandy invasion sites such as Omaha Beach, Utah Beach, and Sword Beach. Students also visited additional sites of historical and cultural value to add to their learning. Below is a look into the engaging and experiential course!